Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is an eight-phase treatment for healing emotional injury caused by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTDS). Supporters of EMDR therapy cite studies that show this type of psychotherapy works more quickly and completely than counseling veterans.
EMDR therapy requires the patient to focus on past, present, and future. As a PTSD therapy, it treats the brain like the body in the sense that emotional wounds must be closed or they will fester. By removing an emotional blockage caused by a traumatic event, veterans who suffer from PTSD can find relief.
Critics of EMDR cite sensational media reports and exaggerated claims of success. Few controlled outcome studies have been completed, so it’s unclear whether EMDR therapy is any more effective for PTSD than standard exposure treatments for veterans.